May 21,2018 Mosaic Machiya Kamishichiken: A Guesthouse Located in One of Kyoto’s Five “Kagai” (Geisha district)
Kyoto is home to five “Kagai” (Geiko and Maiko district): Gion Kobu, Miyagawa-cho, Ponto-cho, Kamishichiken, and Gion Higashi.
Kagai are towns with many tea houses, where Maiko and Geiko entertain customers. These entertainers are often also referred to as Geisha in English.
There are some rules for living in Kamishichiken in order to preserve the traditional townscape. For example, red mailboxes are prohibited, air conditioners are covered to keep them from standing out, and bicycles are only allowed to be parked in out-of-the-way areas.
Kamishichiken has many tourist attractions within walking distance, including the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, as well as the Kinkaku-ji and Ryoan-ji temples, both of which are World Heritage Sites!
The Kamishichiken Kaburenjo Theater holds many different events. For example, there’s the Kitano-odori dance in spring, and in summer, there’s the Kamishichiken Beer Garden, where guests are treated to Maiko hospitality. At the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, there’s the Kitano Tenjin Festival on the 25th of every month, as well as the Plum Blossom Festival. There’s a plenty of things to enjoy nearby in all seasons.
At Mosaic Machiya Kamishichiken, you can experience traditional Japanese culture by staying in a Japanese-style room you’ll only find in this kind of Machiya (Japanese town house).
The first-floor cafe & bar, in addition to staples like coffee, also offers Japanese-made sake and locally popular egg sandwiches. There’s also a lounge area for you to interact with other customers. English menus are also available, so don’t be shy.
The staffs are versed in many languages in addition to English. They speak Chinese, French, and languages from other regions as well, so tourists can better enjoy their stay in Japan.
Mosaic Machiya Kamishichiken also organizes many events for people to enjoy interacting with Geiko and Maiko. At Ozashiki Asobi, customers can enjoy a party with Geiko and/or Maiko. At the parties, guests can watch the Geiko and Maiko dance and play the shamisen (three-stringed lute), as well as play games with the entertainers. It’s an excellent way to experience the unique culture of Kyoto.
The owner of Mosaic Machiya Kamishichiken recommends a nearby sushi restaurant called Yoshizuki. The sushi is great, and the proprietress speaks English. You should also check out Nagata, a Yakitori restaurant with a famed manager. The area bustles with activities like plate decoration and arts & crafts at the Kitano Tenjin Festival held on the 25th of every month.
I wrote this article because I hadn’t had the opportunity to go to a guesthouse before. It’s made me love Kyoto even more!
Try visiting a guesthouse. You’ll find something new in every region you stay!
Mosaic Machiya Kamishichiken
ADDRESS: 702 Shinseicho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Kyoto City Bus #50: Ride from Kyoto Station, get off at Kamishichiken
Kyoto City Bus #101: Ride from Kyoto Station, get off at Kitano Tenmangu
Parties of 5-20
*Please contact us if you wish to make a reservation for a party of less than five.
Price (for a party of five):
70,000 yen per person (includes one night’s board/party expenses) (tax not included)
*Customers aged 6 and up must pay the adult price (those aged 5 and under are free of charge with no meal)
The information is current as of February 2018.